- November 24, 2015
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MARRIAGE VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW - AGAIN: HRC has filed a formal complaint with the IRS against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for violating federal law by refusing to disclose their 2014 Form 990s. Following a deadline that passed last week, NOM is required by law to provide key financial documents from the previous fiscal year on the same day any in-person request is made. But for the third year in a row, HRC has made such a request at NOM offices only to have the organization fail to comply, prompting HRC to file a complaint with the IRS in order to compel the disclosure of the documents. According to analysis of the organization’s 2013 tax filings performed last year, NOM raised $5.1 million in 2013, dropping by over 50% since 2012. Just 2 donors accounted for more than half of the organization’s funding – further evidence that everyday Americans have little interest in furthering NOM’s extremist agenda. In addition, the NOM Education Fund also showed a decrease of nearly $3.5 million in funding -- a drop of almost 70% since the previous year. NOM ended the year more than $2.5 million in debt. More here: http://slate.me/1MzY0GA
NEW STUDY: TRANS WOMEN EXPERIENCE HEALTH BENEFITS FROM GENDER AFFIRMATION SURGERY: A new study from researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has found the transgender women who receive hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery may be “less likely to develop metabolic disease than those who receive hormone therapy alone.” The study was a response to prior research that indicated transgender women were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease than cisgender men and women because of the hormone estrogen. According to ThinkProgress, “Though the study was small, it adds to the growing evidence that transgender people can benefit from steps they take to transition their body to match their gender identity. This may help further convince insurance companies that continue to impose exclusions on covering such treatments…The latest results also counter claims by opponents of transgender equality that such surgery is detrimental to transgender people’s well-being.” Learn more about the study here http://bit.ly/1NNcGQy and more from ThinkProgress here: http://bit.ly/1MzSLGQ
THE DAILY BEAST ON THE FIGHT FOR TRANS EQUALITY: The Daily Beast features a column by James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project, on how the methods that were used to change public opinion and ultimately win marriage equality, can be used in the fight to win transgender rights. Esseks writes, “We need everyone to understand that transgender people are our neighbors, our bankers, our pilots, our waitresses, our doctors. Transgender people are human beings who want and deserve to live a safe life free from discrimination. We need people to care about transgender people and the staggering rates of suicide, harassment, and violence they face. It’s this education that is going to help us pass the non-discrimination laws we need and that’s going to help us protect those laws from repeal at the ballot box.” Read his full piece here: http://thebea.st/1MORHNf
JUDGE SAYS ARKANSAS SAME-SEX COUPLES CAN AMEND BIRTH CERTIFICATES OF THEIR CHILDREN: Yesterday, Judge Tim Fox of Pulaski County ruled in favor of three same-sex couples who sued the Arkansas Department of Health for refusing to name both spouses on the birth certificates for their children. The Associated Press reports, “Cheryl Maples, the attorney representing the couples, said in instances where heterosexual couples use fertility treatments that include sperm donations, the same requirements are not applied. She said sperm donation requires a waiving of parental rights by the donor and should be treated the same for heterosexual and same-sex parents.” Judge Fox has asked that the birth certificates be amended immediately, but will issue a formal ruling in December. More here: http://bit.ly/1R3MR49
NC GOVERNOR TO JOIN SC IN OPPOSING TRANS BATHROOM LAWSUIT: North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory wants his state to join a lawsuit in Virginia over whether Gavin Grimm, a trans man, can use the men’s restroom. Last month, HRC praised the Obama Administration for filing an amicus brief supporting Grimm in his lawsuit against Virginia’s Gloucester County School District. Grimm’s suit alleges that in denying him use of the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity, the district is violating Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, which bars sex discrimination in education. Gov. McCrory has written to North Carolina AG Roy Cooper asking that North Carolina join the South Carolina AG in filing an opposing amicus brief. McCrory wrote, “The Obama Administration has joined with the ACLU in an attempt to force local school districts to open sex-specific student locker rooms and bathrooms to individuals that are not of that biological sex...This extreme position directly contradicts the express language of federal law and threatens local control of our schools. It also disregards the safety and privacy concerns of parents and students.” While many schools and school districts around the country are following the Administration's lead and treating transgender students equally, McCrory’s actions send a dangerous message to transgender youth about their value and worth. The HRC Foundation, the educational arm of HRC, works with many schools that want to support transgender students through its Welcoming Schools program. For more information, read Schools In Transition: A Guide for Supporting Transgender Students to assist in creating inclusive environments for all. More here: http://bit.ly/1jhRBVZ
DALLAS NEIGHBORHOOD ON LOCKDOWN AFTER SERIES OF ALLEGED ANTI-LGBT HATE CRIMES: Police have created a task force in the city of Oak Lawn in Dallas following a recent uptick in violence against the LGBT community. Reports have found at least twelve incidents have occurred in the past three months. Most recently, Geoffrey Hubbard was attacked while walking to a friend’s house last Thursday, and is still recovering from serious injuries. More here: http://bit.ly/1OpX4oS
AROUND THE WORLD
COLOMBIA COURT SET TO RULE ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Colombia’s Constitutional Court is expected to rule this week in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The Court has a history of ruling in favor of LGBT equality regarding inheritance rights, social security and the equivalent of pension benefits. Just this month, the Court legalized adoption by same-sex couples and ruled that adoption agencies could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. More here: http://bit.ly/1Hk8I5o
Vox takes an in-depth look at the Liberty Counsel, the right-wing organization that turned Kim Davis into a household name…. and ahead of Pope Francis’ visit, the Wall Street Journal writes of the renewed debate on LGBT issues in Kenya and Uganda.
A.M. Equality will be taking a break for Thanksgiving starting tomorrow, but will be back on Monday, November 30th.